Sept. 20, 2004
THIS WEEK IN LOBO VOLLEYBALL
New Mexico (6-4, 0-0 MWC)
vs. Wyoming (5-5, 0-0)
Multi-Purpose Gym - Laramie, Wyo. - Friday, Sept. 24 - 7 p.m.
vs. No. 9 Colorado State (8-1, 0-0)
Moby Arena - Ft. Collins, Colo. - Saturday, Sept. 25 - 7 p.m.
LOBOS BEGIN MOUNTAIN WEST ACTION WITH ROAD SWING TO WYOMING, No. 9 COLORADO STATE - Fresh off winning the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic, New Mexico begins Mountain West Conference action this week with matches at Wyoming and No. 9 Colorado State. The Lobos went a perfect 3-0 in their home tournament last weekend, defeating Hartford, UTEP and Weber State. Four Lobos garnered all-tournament team honors, including Nicole Ryan, who was named the MVP after averaging 4.00 kills per game, 1.42 blocks per game and hitting for a .339 percentage.
After a strong non-conference showing in which the Lobos picked up six victories, UNM's focus now shifts to the most important part of the schedule, the conference season. The Lobos' first conference match of the season is at Wyoming Friday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. The Cowgirls enter the conference season with a 5-5 record after winning two of three last weekend in the Idaho State Tournament. UNM is looking to snap a four-match losing streak to the Cowgirls; Wyoming leads the overall series, 27-23.
The task only gets tougher Saturday night as the Lobos battle No. 9 Colorado State in Moby Arena at 7 p.m. CSU went a perfect 14-0 in the Mountain West last season to claim the league title, won the tournament championship, and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Rams are loaded once again this year and bring an 8-1 record into the weekend - their only loss was against current No. 1 Minnesota. CSU, who leads the overall series 28-20, has won the last 15 meetings against the Lobos.
LOBOS TO WATCH
-- Junior Nicole Ryan was named the MVP of the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic after averaging 4.00 kills per game, 1.42 blocks per game and hitting for a .339 percentage. Ryan put down a season-high 18 kills and collected 21.5 points vs. UTEP in the second match of the tournament. She is second on the team with 3.18 kills per game.
-- Junior Chelsea Sondrup is moving closer to becoming the all-time blocks and block assists leader in New Mexico history. Sondrup is fifth in blocks with 243 (record: 299) and fourth in block assists with 229 (record: 252). She registered 11 block assists in UNM's win over Weber State, which tied for second all-time in a UNM match - two shy of her own record of 13 which she set her freshman year against SMU.
-- Senior Adah Burke is living up to her billing as the top libero in the Mountain West Conference. The preseason All-MWC selection is leading the league with 4.58 digs per game. She dug a career-high 28 in UNM's win over UTEP, the sixth most in a UNM match, and was named the top libero in the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic.
LOBO NOTES OF THE WEEK
-- The Lobos have already eclipsed their win total from 2003.
-- The Lobos are third in the Mountain West in winning percentage at .600.
-- The Lobos are 2-3 all-time in Mountain West openers.
-- The Lobos are 3-0 in five-game matches this season.
ALBUQUERQUE MARRIOTT LOBO VOLLEYBALL CLASSIC SUMMARY - The New Mexico volleyball team rallied back from two games down and defeated Weber State in five games (25-30, 18-30, 30-25, 30-20, 16-14) Saturday, Sept. 18 to claim the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic title. The Lobos also topped Hartford and UTEP in the tournament to go a perfect 3-0 for the weekend.
The Lobos led all teams with four players on the all-tournament team, including junior Nicole Ryan, who was named the MVP of the tournament. Ryan averaged 4.00 kills per game, 1.42 blocks per game and hit at a .339 clip in the tournament's three matches. In the final match vs. Weber State, Ryan led the Lobos with 15 kills in addition to racking up eight block assists.
Chelsea Sondrup collected 12 blocks (one solo, 11 assists) and 13 kills against Weber State (1-10) and was also named to the all-tournament team. Sondrup's 11 block assists tied for second most all-time in a UNM match - two shy of her own record set in 2002.
Freshman Samie Weber put down seven kills and had six block assists against the Wildcats of WSU. She averaged 1.17 blocks per game during the tournament to garner all-tournament honors.
Defensively, senior Adah Burke was named the top libero of the tournament after averaging 4.17 digs per game. Burke set a career-high with 28 digs vs. UTEP, which was good for sixth all-time in a UNM match.
The Lobos struggled early against Weber State, falling in game one, 30-25, and game two, 30-18. But the Lobos came alive in game three, tallying 16 kills as a team in the 30-25 win. UNM held the Wildcats to a negative hitting percentage in game four in shutting down WSU, 30-20. In the fifth and final game, the Lobos jumped out to an 8-3 lead, but the Wildcats came back to tie the game at 11. The two teams traded the next six points until the Lobos rattled off two straight points on a WSU blocking error and a Ryan service ace to win 16-14.
ALBUQUERQUE MARRIOTT LOBO VOLLEYBALL CLASSIC RESULTS
Match 1: UTEP 3, Weber State 1 Match 2: New Mexico 3, Hartford 0 Match 3: Weber State 3, Hartford 1 Match 4: New Mexico 3, UTEP 1 Match 5: UTEP 3, Hartford 0 Match 6: New Mexico 3, Weber State 2
1st place: New Mexico (3-0) 2nd place: UTEP (2-1) 3rd place: Weber State (2-1) 4th place: Hartford (0-3)
ALBUQUERQUE MARRIOTT LOBO CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
MVP - Nicole Ryan, New Mexico Chelsea Sondrup, New Mexico Samie Weber, New Mexico Kari Stacy, UTEP Ashley Ripple, UTEP Lindsay Harris, Weber State Kaylianne Valenzuela, Weber State Libero - Adah Burke, New Mexico
THERKELSEN SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: Sophomore Kelly Therkelsen has shown dramatic improvement in the Lobos' first three weekends of the season after leading the team with 3.28 kills per game (eighth in Mountain West), which is an improvement over last year's 1.72 kpg. Therkelsen earned Comcast Lobo Invitational all-tournament team honors the first weekend of the season, and the following week she earned all-tournament accolades at the Delaware Invitational after recording a career-high 25 kills against George Washington. She registered double-digit kills in two of UNM's three matches last weekend in the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic.
BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH: Junior Chelsea Sondrup is climbing the career charts at UNM in blocks in her third season. Sondrup is fifth all-time with 243 blocks (record: 299) and fourth in blocks assists with 229 (record: 252).
This season, she is second on the team with 33 blocks (1.00 per game) and is tied for the team lead with a .295 attack percentage. She earned Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic all-tournament team honors after putting down 11 block assists vs. Weber State, which is the second most in a UNM match.
Sondrup already holds the single-season UNM mark for block assists, as she tallied 131 her freshman year. She also established UNM single-match block (14) and block assists (13) records with her performance against SMU on Sept. 20, 2002.
BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH, Pt. 2: Following in Sondrup's footsteps, freshman Samie Weber has put on an impressive display of blocking in her rookie season. Weber leads the team with 43 blocks (1.10 per game) and is tied for the team lead in attack percentage (.295). Weber earned all-tournament honors in both the Comcast Lobo Invitational and the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic.
SET ME UP: Senior setter Monica Meihack returns as the starting setter for the third straight year. Meihack collected a double-double in the first match of the year against Northern Colorado, tallying 50 assists and 10 digs. She dished out a season-high 55 assists vs. UTEP Sept. 18. For the season, she has recorded at least 50 assists on four occasions. Meihack, a Fallon, Nev., native, is fifth in the Mountain West with 10.87 assists per game.
CAUTION - DIGGING AHEAD: Senior Adah Burke is showing why she was named the top libero in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason. Burke leads the conference with 4.58 digs per game and was named the top libero at the Albquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic last weekend. She recorded a career-high 28 digs in the win over UTEP, which was the sixth most ever in a UNM match.
FROM THE BEACH TO THE DESERT: Junior outside hitter Nicole Ryan transferred to UNM this season after playing for Golden West Community College in California last year. She led the Rustlers to a perfect 22-0 season in 2003 and is looking to bring some of that magic to the Lobos in 2004. Ryan displayed her winning mentality last weekend, leading the Lobos to a perfect 3-0 record in the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic. She was named the MVP of the tournament after averaging 4.00 kills per game and 1.42 blocks per game, all while hitting at a .339 clip.
HEASTY BRINGS EXPERIENCE TO THE FRONT LINE: Sophomore outside/middle Jennifer Heasty is one of five starters returing to the lineup this season for UNM. Heasty led the Lobos in 2003 in hitting percentage and is very versatile around the net. This season, she is fifth on the team in kills (2.11 pg) and fourth in blocks (0.66 pg).
LIVE FROM BUDAPEST: Junior transfer Gabriella Veres, a native of Budapest, Hungary, made her Divison I debut against Creighton Sept. 4. Veres has played on the Hungarian Junior National Team and was a member of the PRSC Division II junior championship team in 2003 (21-under) and the PRSC Division II championship team in 2004 (all ages).
UNM VOLLEYBALL PROMOTIONAL DATES - The UNM Athletic Department is sponsoring several promotional dates this season for Lobo volleyball. All home matches are played at the Johnson Center on the UNM main campus. The following promotions are listed below:
Student Night -- Saturday, Oct. 2 vs. Utah, 7 p.m.
Jam Johnson -- Friday, Oct. 22 vs. Colorado State, 7 p.m.
Senior Day -- Sunday, Nov. 14 vs. San Diego State, 7 p.m.